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Defar breaks 3000m world indoor mark

Meseret Defar of Ethiopia Yomi Omogbeja (03/02/2007)

Ethiopia's Olympic champion Meseret Defar has broken the World 3000m record at the 21st edition of the Sparkassen Cup at the Stuttgart’s Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Germany.

Defar recovered from the disappointment of last month’s Boston Marathon to smash the world record in 8: 23.72, taking off more than four seconds off Liliya Shobukhova's 2006 time at the same venue.

Despite the strong challenge from compatriot Meselech Melkamu stucked with her throughout and almost snatched it at the end, Defar stayed focussed and outfoxed her junior colleague with Melkamu settling for second in 8:23.74.

A relieved Defar said at the end: "I knew she was there. And during the last laps, I kept her in my sight using the TV screens in the hall."

Kenya’s Wilfred Bungei won the men’s 800 metres easily in a season-leading  1:45.72 and Algerian Antar Zerguelaine won the men’s 1500 metres in another season’s leading 3:39.49.

5000m record

Meseret Defar had last year broken the World 5000m record with a 14:24.53 finish (striping off 0.15 seconds from the 14:24:68 previous world record held by Ethiopian-born Turkish star Elvan Abeylagesse) at the 2006 Reebok Grand Prix meet in New York.

Defar, who is already the fastest woman ever over 5000m (5K) on the road (14:46), also rewrote the African record last August at the 29th Van Damme Memorial - IAAF/TDK Golden League meeting in Brussels where she won in 14:28.98, relegating compatriot's Berhane Adere's 14:29:32 mark to the history books.

She came very close to breaking the women's 3000m World Indoor record which she narrowly missed last year, running 8:30.94 to post the third-fastest time in history at the 2006 Reebok Boston Indoor Games in January.

Her time was bested only by Berhane Adere's four-year-old world record of 8:29.15 and Defar's own 8:30.05, also run at the same meet in 2005.

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International Amateur Athletics Federation

African Athletics Confederation

Ethiopian Athletics

Sparkassen Cup 2007

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See also: Defar upstages Kidane in New York  
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Last updated: 09-Mar-2007 8:52 PM

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